State Treasurer Dan Rutherford made a stop in Kankakee Tuesday, two days after he announced he was running for Governor in 2014. Rutherford is on a three-day swing in the state, stressing his push to change the climate in Illinois.
The 58-year-old from Livingston County says jobs is the focus. He said if unemployment can be lowered, other issues will take care of themselves.
The budget issues – he said – will begin to disappear once the economy show improvement.
Rutherford also talked about Illinois' recent decrease in the bond rating. That's the end result of legislators failing to restructure pensions.
This downgrade is the 10th negative issuance since the start of 2012.
Presence Health and Watseka's Iroquois Memorial Hospital (IMH) have signed a letter of intent to form an affiliation.
"Presence Health welcomes the opportunity to partner with Iroquois Memorial Hospital," said Sandra Bruce, President and Chief Executive Officer of Presence Health. "We believe this partnership has the potential to build on our mutual strengths and vision, resulting in high-quality, coordinated care for the greater community of Watseka and Iroquois County."
"We are pleased to be signing a letter of intent with Presence Health," said Chuck Bohlmann, President and CEO, Iroquois Memorial Hospital. "We feel Presence Health's continuum of services and system resources will strengthen Iroquois' ability to serve the health care needs of the communities we serve."
If completed, this would be the first hospital affiliation for Presence Health since Resurrection Health Care and Provena Health joined together to form the health system in 2011. With the Letter of Intent signed, Presence and IMH will move forward to complete their due diligence and a definitive agreement.
Iroquois Memorial Hospital is a 49-bed hospital and 35-bed skilled nursing facility in Watseka. Located in the Central Illinois region, Iroquois bridges the geographic areas of Presence Health's existing hospitals with St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. The hospital also operates four primary care clinics in the surrounding area.
IMH began looking for a partner more than a year ago to ensure the sustainability of local access to high quality health care for the residents of the communities served by IMH, and to maintain jobs at the facility.
Presence Health and Iroquois Memorial Hospital share common services, including acute care, long-term care and a strong program of physician support. Both Presence and IMH are dedicated to patient-centered care and to creating a healthy community for the people and families they serve.
"Presence Health is well-rounded and versed in all facets of health care and we are recognized nationally for our quality," Bruce said. "As we continue to explore opportunities with Iroquois Memorial, we believe our compatible mission, unique capabilities, clinical expertise and contiguous service areas make Presence Health a natural fit for Iroquois Memorial Hospital, for Watseka and for the entire County."